Air Force Student Loan Repayment Basics
Joining the U.S. Air Force is one of the most exciting and rewarding career moves that a college graduate can make. Former President Ronald Reagan was in the U.S. Air Force, along with the second man ever to land on the moon, Buzz Aldrin. Other fun facts about the Air Force include:
- At present, the Air Force’s stated mission is to “fly, fight, and win” in “air, space, and cyberspace.”
- “Air Force One” is not the name of a plane; in air traffic control terms, it’s the name given to any plane on which the President is a passenger
- Air Force weathermen who go on reconnaissance missions to check area meteorological conditions are trained the same as battle-ready commandos.
- In 1947, the same federal laws that made the U.S. Air Force into a separate branch of American security operations also created the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
Whether you have fully or partially completed a college degree, enlisting in the Air Force may be your next big step in life. To help you make an informed decision about how to manage your student loan debt and other bills, it is advisable to review the Air Force’s Enlisted Pay charts.
As the Air Force pay scale makes clear, years of service and educational achievement are each factors that directly bear on pay grade. Armed with this pay scale chart and an estimate of monthly student loan payments, a prospective Air Force enlistee will have a clear insight into her financial future if she decides to join. Unlike in jobs in the private industry, a perk of Air Force employment is that salaries most always increase over years of service. A predictable income is a great comfort to anyone with student loan debt.
Facing student loan repayment may be the not so exciting part of starting a career with the Air Force, or any job for that matter. But the good news is that the Air Force provides eligible enlistees with a student loan repayment program.
College Loan Repayment Program (CLRP) is available to all newly enlisted Air Force persons. Interested graduates must sign up for the repayment program when signing the enlistment contract. The maximum repayment amount is currently $10,000 per new recruit. The program works as follows: after each of year active Air Force duty, the U.S. Military will pay the greater of one-third or $1,500 off the remaining student loan balance. For more information, interested persons are best advised to explore the education benefits discussed on the U.S. Air Force official site.
Recruits may also be eligible for deferment or forbearance. For more information on these options, recruits with college debt may visit a dedicated student loan services site.
In the alternative, new recruits who have not attended or completed college may be eligible to earn money for college through Air Force service. Interested recruits or active service members should contact an advisor for program details and more information.
It is important for prospective Air Force enlistees to note that they will also have the benefit of any repayment plans that the U.S. Department of Education provides for federal loans. As Federal Student Aid discusses, there are several repayment plan options available to borrowers.
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